Tiger Roll's Close Grand National Win Thrills Trainer
Tiger Roll's Close Grand National Win Thrills Trainer
GETTYGrand National tips Regal Encore has been ruled out
17 April, 2018, 22:53
Tiger Roll was a second National victor in three years for Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive, and a second for trainer Gordon Elliott, who won it with Silver Birch in 2007 before he had ever saddled a victor in Ireland.
Eight-year-old Tiger Roll, who scored at odds of 10-1 for jockey Davy Russell, has fast become a crowd favourite, having already won the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham, adding to his previous triumphs at Prestbury Park in the Triumph Hurdle and the National Hunt Chase. The official winning distance was a head.
I've tried not to think about the race, to be honest. I can't believe it. This is brilliant for the whole yard, for my family at home, everyone. "It's unbelievable for Davy Russell - his father Jerry is, I'm sure, very proud watching him at home". It was my first year of training and I hadn't even a victor trained in Ireland at the time.
It's that insatiable thirst for winners, the hunger for competition and the responsibility of providing for a young family - with a wife and four kids, the most recent of which arrived two weeks ago - that sets him apart. "It's just fantastic to have finally done it", added the jockey who lost his mother Phyllis before the Cheltenham Festival. She got me out of bed at 6am to drive me around the country. I was fighting with Michael O'Leary (owner) telling him to keep this horse at Gigginstown when he retires and he said he wasn't good enough.
David Mullins had to settle for second with 25/1 shot Pleasant Company, two years after celebrating his National win aboard Rule The World.
"You hope and you pray but in my heart I knew I was beaten".
GETTYGrand National tips Which horse will you back to win at Aintree
His ability to last the marathon trip has been slightly compromised by the heavy ground as it will be a real war of attrition and very hard work, but it's only a slight question mark.
"As a jockey this is the one you want to win, especially for someone like me having 14 goes".
One other I'll pick out is Thomas Patrick, who runs in the Betway Handicap Chase.
For the second time in a couple of weeks, Elliott chinned old adversary Mullins in a National photo-finish and the only thing that could make the season any better for the Meath trainer is a first Irish trainers' championship.
To start with, both horses were reject Flat horses.
An hour later the account posted this message: "Last we heard of Saint Are is that he was being assessed by vets in the stables after his fall in the National".
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